Moulin Rouge

D: Baz Luhrmann
20th Century Fox/Bazmark (Martin Brown, Baz Luhrmann & Fred Baron)
US/Australia 2001
128 mins


W: Baz Luhrmann & Craig Pearce
DP: Donald M. McAlpine
Ed: Jill Bilcock
Mus: Craig Armstrong
PD: Catherine Martin
Cos: Angus Straithe & Catherine Martin

Nicole Kidman (Satine), Ewan McGregor (Christian), John Leguizamo (Toulouse-Lautrec), Jim Broadbent (Zidler), Richard Roxburgh (Duke of Worcester), Kylie Minogue (The Green Fairy)

A movie I fondly like to refer to as "Marmite Rouge", based on the fact you'll either love it or hate it.  This leaves it rather critic-proof. Those who like pop music or stage musicals will not heed my review, while those who struggled to get through the first five minutes will relish it.

In a nutshell, the story is practically the same as James Cameron's Titanic (qv), only set in the Moulin Rouge theatre in Paris as opposed to the fated liner, and all the dialogue is replaced by lyrics from pop songs from Madonna's Like A Virgin to Elton John's Your Song.  The true life protagonist of the Moulin Rouge, Toulouse Loutrec, is given a supporting role of watching Ewan McGregor singing through clenched teeth, Nicole Kidman bandying about like a whore while Kylie Minogue plays the embodiment of an intoxicating beverage.

There's no satire involved, which was most certainly a trick missed. It's practically a 2 hour, 6 minute attention-seeking music video, which personally, I just found quite creepy.

Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge
Nicole Kidman & Ewan McGregor in Moulin Rouge